On Sunday, I found myself throwing the frisbee with someone I didn’t know. We went from, “Wow–great toss!” to “Hey–what’s your name?” to “What do you do?” It was a pretty natural progression as far as conversations go.
Of course, my answer to the last question was, “I’m a pastor of a church in Walnut Creek called Open Door,” to which he responded, “Oh really? What’s your church like.”
My immediate response was, “Well, it tastes a lot like espresso and sounds a lot like Jazz Music.” I was thinking about how we adopt local coffee shops and pubs and keep showing up there as well as our connection with the jazz community in the Bay Area. But then I started to reflect on it more and was surprised by the truth behind that statement.
“It tastes a lot like espresso.”
I’ve come to love the subculture of specialty coffee. Because of my friendship with the owners of Pacific Bay Coffee Co. in Walnut Creek, I have become exposed to a world that I didn’t even know existed. And, because of our experience at the Barista Championships, I discovered a whole network of “Third Wave” coffee joints–one of which I now frequent every time I’m in Sacramento.
To explain, this is the term used to describe coffee shops who see themselves standing on the shoulders of Folgers and Columbia House (First Wave) and Starbucks and Peet’s (2nd Wave) to get really well done espresso into the hands of the community. The Third Wave shops aren’t interested in you getting in and getting out, but take care to help you embrace the fullness of the coffee experience.
I have watched as this network of Third Wave shops collaborate with each other and how, as a result, they all get better at what they do. They share ideas, helpful practices, baristas, music, espresso beans, etc. They are constantly pushing each other to dream bigger and to experiment more. There is a longing to connect with origin (coffee farms) to understand coffee better and to help holistically enhance life for those on the farms.
They are not interested in becoming the bastians of the coffee world like the Second Wave shops. Take note, though–Starbucks, known for catering to the consumer, has lost its identity and is trying to regain its roots. They are no longer offering breakfast sandwiches because their shops don’t smell like coffee anymore. Interesting huh?
Can the church learn anything from Third Wave Coffee?
“It sounds a lot like Jazz music.”
What I love about and learn from Jazz music…
It is an ongoing conversation.
There really isn’t any difference between performers and listeners. They all are a part of the experience.
It is always different based on the musicians who show up.
Anyone can contribute.
It is better when more musicians contribute.
It is never the same twice.
It builds on the past with creative liberty.
It is messy at times–and that’s okay–it’s cool, really, because something new emerges.
Leadership can seamlessly shift–it needs to in order to stay fresh.
Can the church lean anything from Jazz Music?